Monday 4 September 2017

Gifts and Talents - 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon' [Spoiler Alert!!!]

This must be the cutest Korean drama of the year, maybe even the cutest drama ever! Definitely poles apart from the previous series I wrote about, W - Two Worlds, which was pretty heavy-going despite being set in a webtoon world. So anyway, while laughing at all the antics and rooting for Bong Soon (Park Bo Young), I realised towards the end that the story actually speaks quite loudly about how we should treat our gifts and talents. So here goes...

Know and acknowledge them

In the beginning of the drama, we find out that Bong Soon hides her special gift of supernatural strength in order to be the sort of girl that she thinks her crush, Gook Doo (Ji Soo) would like, ie a weak and helpless girl whom he can protect. Only her family and her closest friend are in the know and they all help to protect her secret for various reasons.

Therefore, she only helps those in danger when no one else is watching. For instance, she stopped an out-of-control bus just in time and saved the passengers as well as the passers-by who would otherwise have been hit. This also happened to be the first time Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik) witnessed her superpower from the back seat of the bus, albeit without being able to see her face.

However, there are many times when she sees someone in trouble but is unable to help as there are other people around and she isn't willing for her gift to be exposed. This leads to much frustration and confusion on her part in terms of her self-identity and purpose in life. It is only when she reveals her strength to the world later on that she is finally reconciled with her own gift and can use it to help Gook Doo, who is a police detective, capture the serial kidnapper. Furthermore, she eventually realises that her true love isn't Gook Doo, the one she was hiding her gift from but Min Hyuk, the one who knew about it all along and loved and accepted her just as she is.

We also need to discover and accept our own gifts and talents. Each one of us has been uniquely made by God and bestowed with a special set of gifts and talents. There is no point in trying to hide or change them or even compare them with others' gifts and talents. We can only reach our destiny and enjoy the life and relationships we have been blessed with when we fully accept who we have been created to be, gifts and all. [Just an aside, before you commit to a serious relationship and marriage, make sure the other person loves you for who you are and not an imagined you. That also means, don't put on a mask and try to be something different from how God has made you just to impress someone!]

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

Develop them

Not only is Min Hyuk aware of Bong Soon's special gift, he also takes it upon himself to help her train her strength and learn to wield it skillfully. He understood that Bong Soon had to develop her gift to its full potential in order to find satisfaction in her role as the 'super heroine' of her neighbourhood. Similarly, we also have to develop our gifts and talents with appropriate training and discipline and use them to the best of our abilities in order to fulfill our calling (cf. the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.)

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you... 1 Timothy 4:14a

Use them for the right purpose

Bong Soon's gift is explained as being hereditary and passed down the female line, but only when it is used for good. Hence her mother lost the gift because she had used it for selfish ends. The gift is a responsibility to make the world a better place. Our gifts and talents are also not for us to show off nor for personal gain. Instead, God has gifted us so that we can use them to do good works.

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Use them with the right motivation

Initially, Bong Soon seems to have used her gifts not only reluctantly but also out of a sense of duty as she knew that it had been given to her family to better the world. But that doesn't bring her joy. Later on, when her bff had been kidnapped by the villain, she turns to anger and uses her gift not only to rescue her friend but also to seek revenge. As a result, she unintentionally kills an innocent man and loses her gift altogether.

As a weakling, she is taken captive by the villain and locked up with a ticking time bomb. Min Hyuk finds her but is unable to release her. He decides to stay with her till the end despite Bong Soon's protests. She pleads to God to restore her power so she can save her beloved and her prayer is answered. After miraculously regaining her strength, she frees herself and disposes of the bomb, thus saving Min Hyuk and herself. After experiencing Min Hyuk's self-sacrificial love, she grows in confidence in herself and her gift. Consequently, she continues her pursuit of the villain not out of vengeance but because of her love and compassion for the victims.

Our motivation to do good should also be in response to Christ's sacrificial love for us as displayed on the cross rather than serving out of duty or even worse, acting in anger or retaliation.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

Use them in the right way

Bong Soon also had trouble working with others before her aforementioned 'conversion'.  With Gook Doo, it was because she could never be authentic before him due to her feelings of infatuation. She couldn't trust Min Hyuk either as she was worried that he might get hurt and leave her. Only after she realises that she doesn't really love Gook Doo (so no need to hide her strength anymore) and that Min Hyuk isn't even afraid to die for her does she learn to trust both of them. With this level up in their understanding and trust in one another, they are able to work together as a team and tap on each person's unique gifts. (Oh yes, the men had their own gifts and talents too! After all, this isn't a feminist script where the men are all incompetent slobs!) And that is how they succeed in catching the villain once and for all. Hooray!

So it is with our gifts and talents - God distributes different kinds of gifts to each person but they are all meant to be used for the common good (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7.) We are supposed to work together and complement each other's gifts just as the different parts of a body function together (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.)

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

So let's learn from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and go forth, unleash our God-given gifts and talents and be the salt and light that will make this world a better place to live in!

[Oops! Forgot to mention that you can watch the series here and/or read witty synopses of each episode here.]

P.S. I fell in love with PHS' acting and wrote some quick thoughts on 2 more dramas that he's in. 😉